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November 8, 2002

Television Convergence

Posted by Mike on November 8, 2002 4:34 PM

Wednesday night we finished a West Wing episode where Tuesday didn't happen. Hearty but rueful laughs around the living room over how nice it is to have a fantasy land to escape to.

As an American Prospect article explains, The West Wing is losing viewers this season, maybe for the same reason the Democracts lost voters:

"The show's creative mastermind, Aaron Sorkin, apparently constructed this season as a critique of the "demonization of intellect" in American society, as he recently told Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly. [...] But instead of an abstract argument promoting intelligence as a virtue, each episode has become a scathing critique of the Bush administration as a cult of stupidity -- despite Sorkin's rather unconvincing protests that the show's Republican presidential candidate was not modeled after a specific contemporary politician. " declaring war this season on the "demonization of intellect" in America -- code for declaring war on George W. Bush -- Sorkin has fallen into the same trap that also snared the Democratic party this past Tuesday: He and his fictional creations have begun defining their political agendas in terms of Bush. Of course, real-life Democrats may have hastened to align themselves with Bush -- on issues such as Iraq and even the tax cut -- while Sorkin has bent over backward to create distance. But in the end, the problems with this approach are the same: Bush has put the issues -- the importance of intelligence and passion for the presidency, the appropriate response to foreign threats -- on the table, and Democrats have fallen over themselves to respond. Like children stamping their feet to be heard, they have mimicked or rejected the positions of Republicans in a vain search for approval, too timid to strike out on their own. I think we should go to war with Iraq, too! Criticism is not the same as anti-patriotism! Intelligence is important! Stamp, stamp, stamp. "